Nearly four out of five employers give their workers some type of gift or bonus around the holidays, a survey by Challenger, Gray & Christmas found. Employers often struggle when it comes to picking out the right gift. Company-branded items, fruitcake, sweets and meats topped employees’ list of worst gifts received from an employer.
If you’re looking to give your employees something different this year, the growing range of smart home automation technology now available gives you some new options. Here’s a look at three of the best home automation gifts this holiday season.
Smart Home Hubs
The foundation of smart home automation is a smart home hub, the hottest of which is Amazon’s Echo line of products: a new, shorter version of Echo that sells for $100, an upgrade of the full-sized now called Echo Plus that goes for $150, and an Echo Dot speaker priced at $130. Also premiering was Echo Connect, a $35 accessory that connects to phone lines, enabling hands-free voice-controlled calling from anywhere in the home. Of course, Amazon isn’t the only player on the smart home hub market. Amazon’s unveiling of its new Echo line came days ahead of Google releasing its Google Home speaker, and Apple plans to debut its new HomePod speaker in December. In the meantime, Tom’s Guide provides an overview of the best smart home hubs currently on the market.
Smart Entertainment Devices
A Coldwell Banker survey found that 57 percent of Americans with connected home technology use it to control smart entertainment devices such as smart TVs and speakers, making this the most popular application among smart homeowners. Likewise, 43 percent of Americans who want smart home technology say entertainment is one of their most-desired applications.
There’s a wide array of smart entertainment devices on the market. If you’re feeling really generous, you might get your favorite worker a smart TV. Or if you have a smaller budget and your employee is a music lover, you might consider getting them a Bose SoundTouch 10 Wireless Speaker. This compact speaker fits anywhere in the home and empowers one-touch access to popular music services such as Spotify, Pandora and Amazon Music, as well as Internet radio and personal playlists. It currently sells for $199, but prices will undoubtedly drop after Thanksgiving.
Smart Home Security Systems
Security is another high-demand home automation technology. Smart home security systems let homeowners keep an eye on their property remotely, automatically arm security alarms, and lock and unlock doors with the sound of their voice.
One of today’s top security home control systems is the line of cutting-edge devices offered by ADT . The ADT Pulse voice-controlled smart home security system lets you not only remotely control your alarms and locks, but also your thermostat, lighting and appliances. Pulse is compatible with a range of complementary security devices including motion detectors, door and window sensors and video cameras. The home automation system currently comes with three free Amazon Echo Dots, a $150 bonus value.
Treat your employees to a home automation gift this holiday season. These gifts are sure to beat out fruitcakes.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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